Tuesday Things

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted. I backdated my Michigan post because 1) I can and 2) I wanted it posted when it happened for my own future reference. July was filled with vacation, camps of every persuasion, school supply shopping, dentist and doctor appointments, knitting, card games, shooting hoops, crafting, and an ENDLESS BATTLE OF SCREEN POLICING.

Moving on:

Knitting: Always socks. And very slowly a sweater for Jesse. But mostly socks. I’m trying to complete at least a pair a month. I managed to get a pair and a sock done in July and after this weekend I’ve almost finished the second sock.

Watching: I jumped on the bandwagon and watched both seasons of Fleabag on Prime. Not for the faint of heart or even slightly prudish, but I found it hilariously funny and absolutely heartbreaking. I’ve also watched the first few episodes of Dear White People which I’m loving.

Reading: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris (★★★☆☆) – super dark and unsettling for me. The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth (★★★★★) – great beach read. Sadie by Courtney Summers (★★★★☆) – not what I was expecting; well written but zero let up. Also read Ani Di Franco’s memoir. I love her music and was so excited to get the book, but wasn’t as inspired by it as by her song writing.

And that’s me…what have you been reading, watching, making, keeping yourself busy with this summer?

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  • I am almost ashamed to say that I didn’t read one book during July. Sometimes my eyes aren’t up to it and my brain just wants to watch mindless TV shows. That was my July in a nutshell. I’ve heard other people mention The Mother-in-Law so when I get back in the groove, I’ll look for it.

    Great to see you back here, btw. Missed you.

    • I definitely have had months where mindless tv shows were required. No shame.

      Was so glad to see that your blog is up and running again. I looked for it while on vacation but somehow missed it! Your post on pears had me giggling.

  • Hi Kate,
    Love seeing this post from you and hearing all is well. Minus the screen battles, of course. Argh. Those damn screens. As I type, looking at one…

    So many books, and so much knitting! I just finished East of Eden. Loved it. Currently I’m reading one I stole from my 20-year-old son’s room: The Geography of Nowhere, by James Howard Kunstler. (Another maddening what-the-hell-have-we-done-to-our-cities book; his favourite subject and now one of mine too.) Knitting socks for my daughter’s BF. Watching the last season of Suits (on my own) and Season 5 of Schitt’s Creek with my 14-year-old son. I just finished another course (that makes 10/12 done!), and I’ve been busy with a ton of editing (my father-in-law’s memoir is nearly done, and editing has been the skill I’ve brought to the local activist group I’ve joined). I’ve been tinkering with a blog post, but it just seems to be going nowhere…there’s so much I want to say, so much I want to try to figure out (with help from online friends) but I’m honestly at such a loss these days.

    Love the photo of V, btw. Grade 7 this coming year? My 14-year-old graduated from Grade 8 in June and is off to high school in September. He’s now taller than me…

    • Oh I can’t wait to watch the 5th season of Schitt’s Creek. It hasn’t been released on Netflix yet here I don’t think. I just love that show and the more I rewatch, the more I love.

      Yes, Violet is going into grade 7!! Last night we were talking about plans in a couple of years and Violet said “I’ll be a freshman in high school” and I about fell out of my chair! It just goes in a blink.

      Congrats on 10/12!! How does it feel to be nearing the final few classes? I miss your blog and your thoughtful posts but it sounds like you’re doing such great (and important) things with your time. I’ve been thinking that I need to be a great deal more productive with my own lately!!

      • Fortunately, we can get Season 5 on CBC (our national broadcaster). Perhaps there’s a way for you to access CBC in the U.S.?

        Sadly, once kids get into high school the time goes incredibly fast—as in, they’ve only barely started and then suddenly they’re done 🙁 . I’m already thinking about how sad I’m going to be when we’re empty nesters…

        Thank you (for the congrats)! It feels both wonderful and scary. I’ve learned a ton and would love nothing more than to edit EVERY blog post I’ve ever written. Or to simply remove the blog from the internet entirely and start fresh! The scariest thing is what comes next—I still need to conquer my perfectionism, because actually working for someone other than my FIL or a volunteer organization is quite a lot of pressure for anxious-me. So although it’ll be nice to be done, it’s also been quite nice to *just* be learning, if that makes sense.

        And it looks to me like you’re *already* quite productive with your time, Kate. THAT (time and work) is precisely the subject of this post that I’m tinkering with. (But considering parts of it have been sitting in my drafts folder for three years, it’s not looking like I’ll ever have the courage to actually post it. /rolls eyes/)

        • It absolutely makes sense that it’s been nice to “just be learning”.

          One of the things my therapist and I are working right now is my perfectionism and one of my tasks is that I have to purposely leave things/do things imperfectly so that I start to break that cycle in my head. Maybe just hit publish? Or ignore unsolicited advice. 😉

          I’ve looked into how to get CBC because I wanted to watch the Canadian Bake Off, but can’t seem to find a way. I know season 5 will eventually show up on my Netflix. I just have to be patient.

          Finally, I believe you about the high school. It just picks up speed each and every year. I’m sending hugs and hopes that you have time to savor the days of these four years. XOXO.

  • Oh Katie Joy:
    I absolutely love Behind Closed Doors! I agree that the reading experience kept me on the edge of my seat, my creative mind guessing, inquiring into my own thoughts, what are the options, the possibilities… and then the end incredibly! It was a book that I couldn’t put down. I’m not spoiling it for any, but I absolutely loved it!! I past it forward to an acquaintance that recommended Cabin 10 as I don’t keep books, but like to share the really good ones matching the right reader. I think Rita might enjoy it.

    Today I just finished The Lying Game by Ruth Ware. I started it in January with a lot of personal projects in my life, so I wanted an easy read that I could pick up and put down with reading a few pages at a time and not have to think hard about the structure or remember The Who, What, Huh…re-read? So it was perfect for that. It’s a mystery that I enjoyed the diversity of characters and the continuous guessing of my own interactive thoughts. The messages about life on the deeper level that the author was trying to deliver was perfect for my own life that I have been currently sorting through. Although not exactly in that content. I came up with my Ahhhh, I see that now as it pertains to my own “stuff”. I think Marion might like it for her inquisitive mind. I did notice one “error” that the editor and proof readers missed. I’m a very slow reader. I may not write well, but errors jump right out at me. And you sound great Marion getting into editing classes and joining a group that’s brave. My social anxiety keeps me clear of groups. I do enjoy one or two people at a time, more than that it’s just too much for me. Doing the editing for your FIL is a fantastic experience of an important person in your real life and excellent opportunity!

    Years ago I read Cabin 10 also by Ruth Ware was recommended by a young 20yo something avid reader who could read an entire book in a weekend. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I listened to CD audiobook of Ruth Wares 4th novel The Death of Mrs. Westaway which was a great escape for me and hearing the book read aloud to me gave me company that I much needed. I loved it and mailed it forward to a friend with permission for his Christmas holiday time off work to in a another state who doesn’t like to read, but enjoys audiobooks on his daily evening walks with the dogs. I can definitely see Ruth Ware’s growth as a writer. I love that!

    For you Katie, you might enjoy thrillers by Paula Hawkins The Girl on the Train and the second Into the Water. These are higher level attention reading then Ruth Ware because Paula Hawkins is so talented with multiple protagonist. I actually wish that I had kept a note diagram of the relationships of nine protagonist of her second book mentioned. I didn’t, but it kept me on my toes and on the edge of solving the mystery of it all.

    I would like to know why you liked your several stars books as I’m searching for my next read. I remembered that sometimes you would mention books, so I took a chance and looked up your blog! And bingo… recommendations!! You read an incredible amount of books!

    I think I would like to stay clear of any anxiety heavy driven right now because I’m getting way too much of that with all the I read daily in keeping up with real life people that I follow in the world news, local news, political news and certain twitters of real life that is very important to me.

    No TV here. I read and enjoy the nature outdoors and keeping up with my property, life chores and dogs is enough for my age.

    My oldest 13yo dog passed away on August 6, so it is incredibly toooooo quite here. My 7yo Yorkie and I are adjusting to the new routine.

    Looking forward to hearing any suggestions from any of you all terrific incredible women!

    • Hello there TD!!

      Thanks so much for the book discussion. I have read Girl on the Train and enjoyed it! Haven’t read the other you suggested by her, so might have to give it a try!

      I wouldn’t say either Sadie or The Mother-in-Law are anxiety inducing. Though Sadie felt like a dark read. The Mother-in-Law just felt like a really good book. It’s written from multiple characters point of view and I loved seeing the way the MIL viewed an event and the way the DIL viewed the same event. If you do read it, I hope you’ll let me know what you think!!

      Finally, I’m sorry to hear about your dog. Such a hard thing to love a well loved animal.

      • Hi Kate,
        I looked up the two books. I decided that Sadie would definitely be too much on the dark side for me. Mother-in-law really sounds like a great read, especially if married. I’ve been married twice and it’s been 10 years since the second. I was lucky to have one very loving and one very kind. I want to leave good mother-in-law thoughts be. So I decided that there’s another book out there just right for me.

        Thank you for your kind thoughts about the passing of my dog. It’s been so quiet in our home that I may browse our local book store for a book on CD. My younger dog and I are adjusting. She too might enjoy listening to the reading of a good hearted story. We have added early morning walks and extra games of fetch to brighten our days. Thank you!

  • I went to the local bookstore to browse…some options. I purchased andiobook “All the Single Ladies” by Dorothea Benton Frank who I’ve never heard of but it sounds like a nice easy listening for us. I also purchased audiobook “Seriously…I’m kidding” which I haven’t heard anything about. But who doesn’t love Ellen Degeneres? I will give me some laughs in between grieving. I looked for a book to read. So many options that I was overwhelmed! I’ll start with some listening.

    I’m sure you are back to school focusing. I have enjoyed all the art that you offer your children.

    Enjoy the time!

    • Thank you for stopping by to let me know what you decided to read. I can definitely understand wanting to go with something a little more lighthearted. And I *do* love Ellen.

      I wish I could get into audiobooks. I know so many people who “read” that way and I’m jealous. I feel like it would be a perfect way to spend time while knitting!!

      • Oh Kate, I certainly think that you could knit and listen to an audiobook at the same time! I actually like the break to rest my entire body especially my eyes between my work. So I lay on the sofa guiltlessly and escape into someone reading to me. I absolutely love it. I’m on 3rd CD of 9 of the Single Ladies which is perfect for me!!

        Rita, I looked into Elizabeth Strout’s Anything is Possible and that sounds like a good reading book for me. I think I will audiobook Elizabeth Strout’s My Name is Lucy Burton first. Then read the book of stories.

        Incredible women: I think this selection shall help my little dog and I as we transition into our new routines. Enjoy the school year! Always keep learning!!

  • Hi Kate,
    Just catching up here…back at work(ish), so, you know.

    So often when you post about things with your kids I feel a lot of nostalgia and a little envy, but boy I do not miss the screen battles! I feel for ya. Keep fighting the good fight, though. I wish I’d battled that a little harder. Or something. I don’t know. Maybe not? As with so many things right now, some battles feel un-winnable, and I want to spend my energy on the ones where I can get some wins. I do not like how my kids use screens, but my voice was very tiny in the cultural tsunami of screens. Sometimes I really miss 2006.

    As for reading/watching, I enjoyed doing both in July, which was my official month off of work. (mostly) After avoiding it for some reason, I dipped into Sex Education on Netflix and LOVED it. The first episode did not grab me–felt a little trying too hard or something. But I came to love the characters and the humor. I loved Stranger Things. Again, the characters. I’m not much of a sci-fi or horror fan (though I also consumed Chuck Wendig’s The Wanderers in audiobook, which is also that genre, and liked it a lot) and don’t know if the logic of the monsters in that story even holds, but I love the characters and the 80s nostalgia. I have tried Fleabag more than once, and several people have told me that I need to watch several episodes. Since you convinced me to stick with Catastrophe’s final season and I was so glad I did, I think I’ll have to try that one again. I suspect it’s got the same kind of appeal as that show.

    Because I’ve been doing painting projects at home this summer and because I can no longer stand to listen to any news on the radio in the car, I’ve been inhaling audiobooks. Currently listening to Tommy Orange’s There, There, a novel everyone was raving about a while ago but that I’m just now getting to. Really good, and more substantial than the lighter fare I spent most of the summer with. I had a good time with Daisy Jones and the Six. Interesting format for a book, and the actors doing the reading were great. I think I would not have enjoyed it as much in print. Evvy Drake Starts Over is chick lit with some substance, but mostly something that is good for listening to while you’re doing something else. For print reading, one of my favorites this summer was Elizabeth Strout’s Anything is Possible. I cannot actually recall most of the other things I read because I haven’t been reading anything too serious or challenging. I needed a break from serious and challenging. It’s nice to have some time in the summer to do that.

    Glad you took time off, too–but (selfishly) hoping you’ll be back here regularly. 🙂

    • I really enjoyed the first season of Stranger Things. I’m not at all a horror fan, but they paced it so well that it never became overwhelming. I haven’t watched the more recent seasons though. I too love the nostalgia.

      I agree Fleabag is a lot like Catastrophe. Painful funny.

      Thank you for the support on the screen battles. It’s been exhausting. I finally blocked YouTube from every screen in our house when Abram’s playlist thing somehow ended up with a pretend ghost hunter show (which when you’re 10 you don’t see as pretend) on it and he was traumatized. (He showed me the video that evening and it was awful and obviously fake, but that’s the grown up talking.) Thankfully, there wasn’t even a fight about shutting it down because he was angry that YouTube would do that. (“There should be ratings, mom. And anyway, I just wanted to watch Minecraft videos!!) I think we’re all ready for school to start. It’s been a weird transition summer. Imaginative play with toys just hasn’t been a thing and I find myself missing the LEGO and Matchbox cars…

      • I would miss the LEGO and Matchbox cars, too. I think it’s pretty awesome that he was OK with shutting down YouTube. I think that bodes well for future things. Wishing you all well as the school year starts…